Life with kids in Sydney City
Did you know that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss, and the number of babies born stillborn is higher than the national road toll?
Tomorrow is Mother's Day. Whilst I'm so grateful to spend this day with my beautiful family, I want to acknowledge the Mums among our community who have experienced pregnancy or childhood loss.
6 months ago, someone very close to me, my niece, lost her baby girl Amity at 22 weeks. It was 4th November - her birthday. She gave birth, experienced labour, and lost her baby ON HER BIRTHDAY. Think about that for a moment.
Comments such as "she's in a better place now," "you need to move on" and "give it time and you'll get past it" were said to her. She even had one person comment "ew" on the photo she posted on Facebook. People say these things because they don't know what to say but feel an innate need to try and "fix it," or make it seem like the pain might become more durable over time.
I had no idea what to say because I was just caught up in imagining a life without my precious son, and I couldn’t even fathom the pain in my chest just from imagining it, let alone living it every day for the rest of my life.
I remember at the time thinking that I have no idea how she’s going to get past this.
Well, she’s not going to and never will. And she shouldn't have to try and move on for everyone else. Shouldn't have to stop bringing Amity up in conversation because it makes others uncomfortable and not know how to react.
I have so much respect for my niece, and any others, that have experienced loss. The fact that she got out of bed every morning amazed me. She told me that “Amity would have wanted me to be strong”.
I remember her saying that one of the hardest moments was waking each morning after crying herself to sleep and expecting to feel those comforting movements in her tummy, only to know that something was wrong. There was nothing, hollowness, emptiness.
So today, my letter to my niece on the first Mother’s Day since she lost her beautiful baby girl Amity is this -
You are a Mother.
You carried your baby, even if only for a short time.
Your body changed.
Your hips widened, your milk came in the week after you gave birth and you’ll NEVER be the same again.
You should be damn proud of the fact that you get out of bed every day and communicate with the world.
You should be proud of the way you respect Amity, educating others about pregnancy loss and bereavement.
You should proud of your patience and that you forgive people who don’t talk about Amity, knowing that it stems from them not knowing what to say.
Most of all, you should be proud that you are a mother.
Tomorrow I will wake and treasure the precious gift of my son.
But I want you to know that I’m thinking of you. Thinking of all the mummy's who have experienced loss- admiring your strength, being inspired by your courage, and honouring your heartache.
Knowing that this day is gut wrenchingly hard for you and not made any easier by the way society's markets the day.
Thank you for showing me that there are different types of Mother's, and that we need to stop the stigma of not talking about this, we need to stop expecting you to “get over it.”
Dani - sitting here bawling x
Pregnancy Loss Australia was an enormous help for Jess in understanding what resources were available for her, and connecting her to others. For anyone who would like to donate or volunteer to assist with the amazing work they do, see their website. They do an incredible job in creating a lifeline and network of people who get it, they provide understanding, and they show that they care.